Shortly after the season ended, Dinwiddie opted out of his player option for next year with the Nets, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 28-year-old is coming off a partially torn ACL but will be a highly sought-after commodity for guard-needy teams. The Lakers could fit into that category, depending on what happens with Dennis Schroder, Alex Caruso and others.
Dinwiddie spoke on his upcoming free agency with Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated and he revealed at least a starting point for his expected value.
“Now, for all the fans that think because I opted out I have to leave or something like that, no, this is very much in the Nets’ hands, you feel me?” Dinwiddie said on “The Crossover Pod.” “I think my full max is like five [years], 196 [million] or something like that. And nobody’s sitting here saying I’m going to get five, 196 — so before anybody tries to kill me, nobody’s saying that.
“But the Nets have the ability to do something that other people can’t. If they come to the table like that, and they’re being aggressive and are saying, ‘Hey we got five, 125 for you,’ I would say there’s a high likelihood that I go back to the Nets, you know what I mean? But if they don’t come to the table like that, and they’re like ‘Oh, we’re going to give you a three for 60,’ well, anybody can do that.”
Dinwiddie played in just three games with the Nets before injuring his ACL. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game his last full season in Brooklyn.
Dinwiddie Wants to Play in Los Angeles
Dinwiddie is from Los Angeles and his “preferred destination” is his hometown with either the Lakers or Clippers, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. Both teams are cash-strapped due to some big contracts, but they would find a way to make it work via a sign and trade.
“Home is the preferred destination,” the source told The Daily News. “But he wants to secure his financial future, too.”
Home for Dinwiddie is Los Angeles, where he spent the entire season rehabbing from his ACL tear at Phenom Sports Performance. If Dinwiddie were to join the Lakers or Clippers, it would have to be in a sign-and-trade. Even if Kawhi Leonard were to decline the player option on his contract and leave the Clippers in free agency, the team still would not have the cap space to sign Dinwiddie to a competitive contract.
For the Lakers, a sign and trade situation would likely send Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope back, although the Nets would still find themselves deep in the luxury tax.
Dennis Schroder Expecting Big Money in Free Agency
The Lakers have decisions to make with their own pending free agents this offseason, one of the biggest being Schroder. The German guard is reportedly expecting a deal in the range of $100-120 million, per Armin Andres, Vice President of the German Basketball Federation. Andres said that’s why Schroder is not wearing his country’s colors for the Olympics.
“Dennis Schroder has communicated this clearly: he wants $100 to 120 million – which he will probably also get – and this sum insured cannot be insured on the normal market at the moment,” Andres said, per TalkBasket.net
Schroder averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season in his first year with the Lakers, drawing mixed reviews.